3 years ago

Hidden Workforce Report - Skills for Health

Hidden Workforce Report - Skills for Health


‘The Hidden Workforce’- Volunteers in the Health Sector in England 1.7 For the purposes of this project, we worked to the following definitions: Healthcare Sector (our scope) Third Sector Our research covered all three parts of the healthcare sector: public (the NHS), private and Third Sector. Non-governmental organisations which are value driven and which principally reinvest their surpluses to further social, environmental or cultural objectives. The sector includes voluntary and community organisations, charities, social enterprises, cooperatives and mutuals ... The term is used to distinguish such organisations from the other two sectors of the economy: the public sector (‘government’) and the private sector (‘businesses’). [This is the definition used by the Office of the Third Sector] Volunteering We used the following definition from Office of the Third Sector, with the exclusion of the last clause, which is irrelevant here: Any activity which involves spending time, unpaid, doing something which aims to benefit someone (individuals or groups) other than or in addition to close relatives, [or to benefit the environment]. We excluded work experience and internships, and relationships dependent on a training contract. The Clover Leaf 1.8 Management guru Charles Handy has written about his concept of a “shamrock organisation”, one in which three sets of people work well together for organisational success: a core team of directly-employed professionals, freelance workers, and a marginal fringe of part-time and temporary staff whose numbers ebb and flow as requirements change. We suggest that an adaptation of Handy’s model – anglicised as a clover leaf, given our scope – is a helpful way of considering the contribution of “The Hidden Workforce” of volunteers on whom so much clearly depends. 4

‘The Hidden Workforce’- Volunteers in the Health Sector in England Fig 1.2: Who Works for You? Volunteers contribute to organisational goals too A: Employees: the directly-employed workforce C: Volunteers: the ‘Hidden Workforce’ B: Contractors: the indirectly-employed workforce (cleaning, catering, security, building maintenance, etc) [with apologies to Charles Handy, whose shamrock organisation comprises a core of key staff, freelancers, and a temporary and part-time fringe] 1.9 Our clover leaf combines three elements which contribute to organisational goals: the directly-employed workforce, contractors staff, and volunteers. As all contribute to the organisation’s goals, we suggest that all require attention by management. Methodology 1.10 Our research involved an extensive literature review, supported by semi-structured interviews with a number of well-informed observers (listed in Appendix E) nominated by Skills for Health, or by each other. We are very grateful to them for their help, willingly given. 1.11 It will be evident that this report is largely qualitative. We consider the scale of healthcare volunteering in the next section, and include through the report what data is available, but data which is both robust and comprehensive is rare in this field. 1.12 Five documents in particular are worth introducing. We take each in turn. 5

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